It's "Mirrorless Monday," and what better time to share the work of Adam Pretty in a stunning under two-minute video shooting with the LUMIX S1R? Take the time to watch the video - you won't be disappointed in his work, and especially his narrative.
"I don't want to just capture the moment. Not just like the athlete winning a race. But I want something really aesthetically beautiful whether it be graphics, light or emotion. With my photography I seek to capture true identities."
As you watch the video, keep in mind Adam Pretty wasn't the only one with a LUMIX camera in his hands. The footage was all captured on LUMIX!
Interested in seeing more of Adam's work? His website it just a click away.
The new full-frame series is creating a lot of buzz all over the world. Isn't it time you found out more about it and visited your Panasonic LUMIX dealer? Click on the thumbnail for more information.
Image copyright Jordan Bunch. All rights reserved.
Now and then, an image is posted in social media that's simply spectacular. That's when I love to share it through a "Spotlight" post because it deserves to be seen by more photographers.
Jordan Bunch is a LUMIX Ambassador and posted this image from a recent wedding. You could hear him singing his comment, complete with musical notes...when the suns hit your lens like a big pizza pie!
Jordan is an accomplished wedding artist based out of Austin, Texas. As both a photographer and filmmaker, his work sets a high standard for imaging, as well as storytelling. I love his approach in the way he's positioned the importance of capturing those special memories from a wedding. Under "Our Story" for Ladybird Studios is the perfect message for a bride to read:
At the heart of every wedding is a love story worth telling well.
Your story matters. It matters to you, it matters to the ones you love and your future family.
Your story matters to us.
Leave your wedding in the hands of the romantics at Ladybird Studios.
Now, to the image above. First, keep in mind this is a screenshot from a Facebook page. Imagine how stunning the original image must be! It's also SOOC - (Straight Out Of Camera) - printable with no manipulation whatsoever! It was captured with the LUMIX S1R and 70-200 mm lens. You can find out more about these two extraordinary members of the LUMIX family with a click on either thumbnail below.
It's not very often there's a video produced about a lens, but the LUMIX S PRO 70-200mm deserves it. It's worth just over a minute of your time to check it out, and understand the technology that's gone into this remarkable lens!
You'll find more of Jordan's images with a visit to his website - just click on the image above. You'll never be disappointed in the content he shares. And check out the LUMIX Ambassador team. This is one of the most diverse groups in photography, and they're on the road all year long with workshops and presentations at LUMIX dealers and conventions across the country.
by Skip Cohen
Years ago, Hasseblad's legendary Ernst Wildi told me the biggest difference between amateur and pro photographers is that amateurs show you ALL of their shots! I'll spare you the first fifty attempts at a family selfie for our holiday portrait, but it's the process that was so memorable. Although we liked one of all of us looking at the camera - the fun for the next portrait will be in a video!
I used the LUMIX G9 with the 14-140mm lens, one Litra Torch 2.0, and had it all set up on a MeFOTO Classic tripod. Very minor post-processing was done in Luminar with cropping and a light tweak in the saturation. Last on the list was using the Panasonic Image App on my phone. I've used it before on videos but not with an attempted portrait. I wound up using it to start the process but set the camera on delayed shutter so we could try to get the pups both looking in the right direction and get my phone out of the shot.
All of you know I'll never profess to be a pro, and while I know more than I let on, it took us fifty+ shots to get the one we wanted to share. Most of you would probably get it in far less. But the biggest challenge and most laughs came in trying to get Lucy and Belle both looking in the direction of the lens. I know it's old school, but our idea started as a posed family portrait.
Panasonic's slogan is "Changing Photography," and they've stayed true to that commitment. Check out the G9 and 14-140mm lens with a click on either product below.
It's the last "Mirrorless Monday" of 2019 - and what a year it's been. With posts shared by some of the most talented artists and educators in the world, we've shared new images all year long. Panasonic never slows down in manufacturing new products and giving photographers everywhere an opportunity to capture stunning images and raise the bar on their skill set.
Check out the LUMIX photographers page on Facebook, and if you haven't visited your local LUMIX retailer recently, check out the full line. The new full-frame S series is remarkable. and like everything Panasonic manufactures, represents the best in imaging!
Wishing everybody a Happy and Health New Year!
Image copyright Paul Mango. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
It's "Mirrorless Monday," and last week LUMIX Ambassador, Paul Mango, shared this image from NYC. It was captured with a GX85 and Rokinon 7.5mm F3.5 lens. The exposure triad was F/8 @ 1/6 ISO 3200.
One of the fun aspects of sharing great images here in the SCU blog is the recipes that go into the photographs. I've been shooting with a GX85 for the last couple of years. I love the fact that's it's small and takes interchangeable lenses. It's got most of the features the LUMIX family has become known for and perfect for simply having a camera with you when you're out and about.
Another fun ingredient with Paul's shot is the addition of a Platypod. Platypod changes your perspective, and Paul wrote:
"I'm having a ton of fun with my Platypod in NYC and it fits perfectly in my pocket. Combined with the LUMIX GX85, it's the ultimate pairing for lightweight awesomeness."
Need a little inspiration? Follow Paul and the other members of the LUMIX Ambassador team. They're always sharing great content as one of the most diverse groups of photographers in our industry. And, check out the LUMIX Photographers Facebook page with images being shared every day from 7,000+ photographers all over the world!
If you don't know about Platypod, the website is just a click away, But, even better is this short video by Jay P. Morgan. The tripod isn't dead - it just needs a new sidekick!
by Skip Cohen
It's Mirrorless Monday and also the home-stretch of the holiday shopping season. If you're thinking about an incredible camera to add to your gear, the new full-frame LUMIX S1H is it. But my post this morning isn't meant to be a sales pitch on the camera as much as it is to get you to check out the way Panasonic's told the story.
The under three-minute "Sizzle Reel" is just that - all sizzle! It's a composite piece of shorts from four different films, each by a different artist. But the common denominators are their creativity and putting the S1H through the paces! It's worth your time just to be inspired by the quality of the images, each artist's approach to making their short film, and the way Panasonic's told the story.
How would you tell your story?
Panasonic's tagline is "Changing Photography." Well, they've gone well beyond that and are changing imaging. From still images to filmmaking, they never slow down providing more creative tools artists need to capture, and create the ultimate story!
The LUMIX team needs to be on your radar! Follow the LUMIX Ambassadors for great content and a lot of terrific diversity. Each Ambassador has a unique skill set, but the common denominators are their love for the craft and respect for quality and creativity. And whether you currently shoot with LUMIX cameras or not, check out the LUMIX Facebook group. There's always great content being shared by over seven thousand photographers from all over the world!
Intro by Skip Cohen
My buddy Bob Coates is no stranger to SCU, and many of you are familiar with his Successful-Photographer website. He's a photographer who not only believes in education but ALWAYS walks the talk when it comes to helping other artists.
While I shared the image to the right in a post last June, there's more to the story. And, if you're like me, and have the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico on your bucket list, there's no such thing as too many posts. It's one of the most incredible places on the planet this time of year.
Click on any of the images in this post to visit Bob's fine art site.
Note: Interested in some extended study time with Bob? He will be an instructor at the Texas School: the “Best Little Photography School in the World” April 26- May 1, 2020
All wildlife images in this post copyright Bob Coates. All rights reserved.
by Bob Coates
As the cover artist for the Festival of the Cranes I had the opportunity to spend another four days photographing at Bosque del Apache NWR. The cranes and large numbers white snow geese make an appearance each year. This is a target rich environment for wildlife photographers.
My main shooting combo was the Lumix G9 with the Leica 100-400mm f/4.0-6.3 lens. This is mounted on the Promaster GH25 Professional Gimbal Head on a carbon fiber tripod. I discovered one modification I’d like to make and recommend to all photographers photographing in cold weather. I’ll be wrapping my gimbal with some pipe insulation tape to keep contact with bare metal to a minimum. Even with gloves that metal shares the cold quite a bit.
In order to not be switching lenses while shooting I keep a second camera on my Peak Design camera strap. A Lumix GX85 with a 12-60mm f/2.8-4 lens covers my wide-angle zoom needs.
Yours in Creative Photography, Bob
In Bob's Camera Bag...
Click on any of Bob's favorite gear for more information.
Images copyright Shiv Verma. All rights reserved.
It's Mirrorless Monday, and Shiv Verma's sharing more beautiful images. He sent me the two photographs above this past weekend, and they deserve to be seen beyond his website or Facebook page. Click on either one to enlarge and view in the SCU Lightbox.
If you've met Shiv or at the very least, know his reputation. He never does anything halfway!
Shiv's using the LUMIX S1R and the LUMUX S 24-105 f/4 lens (which will do 50% macro). He's post focus stacked in the camera to create the image.
With the two pictures above, he enhanced the second one in post-processing.
The exposure triad was F/4 @ 1/500 ISO 500.
The last ingredient is having the camera mounted on a Platypod Max with their new goosenecks and two Litra Torch 2.0s.
Click on either thumbnail below for more information about the LUMIX S1R and 24-105 lens. And meet the entire S1 family with a click on the banner at the bottom of this post.
If Shiv Verma isn't on your radar, it's time you started keeping tabs on what he's up to. He's always sharing great content, and even better is catching up to him in person at an upcoming conference, convention or one of his workshops. His website is only a click away.
Follow Shiv and the other LUMIX Ambassadors for great content and a lot of terrific diversity. Each Ambassador has a unique skill set, but the common denominators are their love for the craft and respect for quality and creativity.
The fun of writing "Sunday Morning Reflections" is a lot like those moments when many of you have a camera in your hands for your own enjoyment rather than work. I can go anywhere, and as so many of you have read, often off-track from the business of photography. This morning's post is a little of both.
To start, the friendships we all have in the industry are the best part of photography and a good friend was with on the beach last night for the Nokomis Drum Circle. Bob Thompson's in Florida. He's wrapping up three weeks on the road, with one primary purpose - catching up to friends.
I wrote about Bob and the sadness of losing his wife Cindy a few months ago. The title of that post was, "When Memories Mean the Most." Well, that describes his trip over the last few weeks.
Bob and I met in '87 when I joined Hasselblad, and the friendship just grew from there. Along the way, so did all the memories. His trip over the last few weeks has been a journey to harvest so many of those memories, and with each stop along the way, he's shared photographs and moments with so many different friends.
Now, to last night at the Drum Circle. While it's not season down here yet, there was still a nice crowd, and nothing beats the sunset. My LUMIX G9 is on loan, so I grabbed my FZ300, and it never disappoints.
I was also reminded of a valuable lesson I learned years ago...never assume that somebody who looks like they know photography, doing a great job when you hand them your camera and ask, "Any chance you can grab a shot of us?" LOL
We've decided to keep the random woman on the right in the image. And, we've adopted her as a new member of the family...Meet "Aunt Beatrice." She's from Nebraska so the accent is on the "a." (In joke, only picked up by people who have lived in NE.)
She's always been a little aloof at times, but she's been that way since she was a kid! She hoped to grow up to be a pirate. So, the ocean has always been a magnet for her dreams - but no pirate career.
And on that note, as I become more obscure, it's time to wrap it up and wish everybody a terrific day. Time with good friends and moments of brilliance when you share stories from the past. Go for those, now suggested, twenty-second hugs. And, to our buddy, Bob, who's headed home to Arizona today, safe travels and remember you've always got a place to hang out here in Florida, and it comes with a bottle of Scotch. What a kick to cover 32 years of memories in two days!
Happy Sunday or Monday if you're on the other side of the world.
The image above is thanks to Carly Sullens, and it's a perfect example of my favorite thing about this industry, the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft.
Here's the very short backstory. Carly and I both spoke at ClickCon last August and will be there again next year. While we don't know each other well, like so many photographers, we share a lot of friends and companies we work with. Carly had a business question she sent my way, and I answered it. That started a conversation about photography, conventions, etc.
The image Carly captured above was one of her first as she started experimenting with a Platypod Ultra combined with two of her favorite pieces of equipment, a LUMIX GH5 and a LitraTorch 2.0 complete with barn doors. She sent it to me with the following comment:
"Extreme low light, the sun was setting. I wouldn't have gotten this sharp of an image without the Platypod and Litra accenting the still life."
Her exposure triad was F/2.8 @ 1/125 ISO 200.
Visit Carly's website to check out her work and educational opportunities for photographers. She regularly shares content to help you raise the bar on your skillset.
Platypod Black Friday Bundles - Click for more information
Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.
Most of you are still-imaging artists, and while filmmaking isn't usually a part of your career, storytelling is. And, if you think about our industry, the line between still-photographers and videographers has been getting thinner and thinner. So, I'm not suggesting you've got to start being a filmmaker, but many of you need a better understanding of video today.
When I watched this BTS video with comments from four well-respected filmmakers, I was surprised at how much great content they shared. All four of them are shooting the LUMIX S1H for different reasons. The common denominator is their love for imaging and shooting full-frame mirrorless. And, even if you never shoot video, you need to have an appreciation for the technology and the techniques these four artists talk about behind the scenes.
Looking for more information on Panasonic's S series cameras? Just click on the banner above. In the meantime, this three-minute video shares a lot of excellent content. And if you're one of those artists who say, "I never shoot video," never say never! Our industry is changing all the time, and along with it consumer trends, how people share images and storytelling. At least make it a point to understand a little of the technology!
Filmmaking just got more interesting thanks to the Panasonic LUMIX S1H full-frame mirrorless camera. Go behind the scenes with our LUMIX S1H video creators for an exclusive look at how they got the shot. Featuring content shot by David Smith, Carissa Dorson, Jacob Schwarz, and Nick Dabas
by Skip Cohen
Don Komarechka is no stranger to SCU. We've shared so many of his images in the past, along with podcasts and great "how-to" content.
Last week the industry's favorite mad scientist astonished us again with "Liquid Flow" photography and the video below. I know this is very different from the kind of images most of you capture. However, besides the beauty of each photograph as art, pay attention to the way he tells the story in the video.
As one of photography's leading most creative educators, he's also ALWAYS willing to share the process he's used for the images themselves.
Platypod and the LUMIX GX9 and S1R played key roles in the short film below. And, if this was Hollywood, Don would be walking away with the Oscar for best director, producer, and writer!
Don needs to be on your radar! You'll find him regularly sharing outstanding content on his Instagram page, and his website is jam-packed with more images, podcasts and information about his workshops! Just click the thumbnail below.
As I mentioned above - Don's always willing to share the backstory on his images and each piece of gear used along the way!
by Don Komarechka:
Here's how you do "liquid flow" photography (and video, obviously) using ultraviolet lights and fluorescing inks!
Gear involved all listed below!
First, the lights. I'm using a bunch of stuff here, basically everything I had that I could fit in. That includes:
- 3 Convoy S2+ flashlights: https://www.fluorescents.com/products...
- 1 Convoy C8 'Fyrfly': https://www.engeniousdesigns.com/prod...
- 1 'Jaxman' UV flashlight: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07...
- 2 "Master Ultra365 units from MinerShop (AC-powered): http://www.minershop.com/051718/html/...
The lights are all held together with Platypod Max and Ultra units, with gooseneck arms: https://platypod.com/our-tripods
- added "crab clamps" to hold the lights, readily available from generic vendors on Amazon.
The tank is an 8" cube aquarium from a local supplier, but any glass aquarium would work.
The inks! These are all from a company called "Noodler's". The three used in this video include:
"Blue Ghost": https://www.gouletpens.com/products/n...
"Dragon Catfish Orange": https://www.jetpens.com/Noodler-s-Dra...
Cameras used: Lumix GX9 for wider shot: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc... Lumix S1R for main video/stills shooting: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc... Kit lenses used for both.
The shooting of the stills was simple: maintain a 1/200sec shutter speed, shoot wider than you need to crop in to the areas of interest (and get a greater depth of field from shooting further back), F/13, and whatever ISO is required to make those other two settings work. With the amount of lights I had, that was ISO 1000.
These images survive noise reduction VERY well, so don't be afraid to push to ISO 6400 and beyond if needed!
Image copyright Shiv Verma. All rights reserved.
It's always fun catching up to Shiv Verma, especially when he's on the road hitting bucket list places like Tanzania.
Just recently posted, Shiv captured the image above with a LUMIX G9 and the Leica 50-200 mm lens. He added the 2X teleconverter to the mix, a product too many of you forget to have in your bag!
Traveling vicariously with Shiv is a kick. He's always sharing great images captured all over the world and often right in your own backyard. You'll find so many of his LUMIX images on the LUMIX Photographers group on Facebook.
With the image above he posted:
African elephants protecting a sleeping calf.
Northern Serengeti, Tanzania. Panasonic Lumix G9 with the Leica 50-200 and the 2X teleconverter.
Exposure Triad: f/8, 1/400sec at ISO 640.
It's time to wander into your LUMIX dealer! Check out the entire LUMIX family, and not only the G9 but the incredible new full-frame S1. Plus, take the time to follow Shiv and the LUMIX Ambassadors. They represent one of the most diverse teams in professional photography.
Years ago photographers used to view teleconverters as gimmick products, but these days with Panasonic's technology and focus on quality, that's just not the case. Click on any of the thumbnails below for more information. Check out the new S1 Series too!
Click below to meet the new LUMIX Full-Frame S Series Cameras
by Skip Cohen
Last May, I started shooting with the LUMIX G9, and my images have never looked better. I'm not sure I've ever had this much fun with a camera in my hand! I especially love the focus accuracy, the touch screen, the weight, low-light capability...oh, why not just say everything? There's a lot of remarkable technology in this camera!
Image copyright Nick Pappagallo Jr. All rights reserved.
Nick Pappagallo Jr is a LUMIX Ambassador and shared the image above on Facebook last week. Click on the image to enlarge it in the SCU Lightbox. When Nick posted it, he shared:
Shot with my Lumix G9 Camera in the studio with Godox 400pros and Backlit by the translucent garage door. Edited with Lightroom Classic.
But there's always a little more to the story. So, I thought it would be fun to contact Nick directly, and he had a lot more to share!
This shot was a brief test shot with the new Godox Lights - and to see how they worked in mixed lighting situations, including daylight. Jurnee was at the studio, and we hopped into studio 4 to test this out. She was having fun, and we only shot about 50 shots in total. The lower angle poses worked better for what I was envisioning. I was lying on my back on the cyc wall shooting up at her. Stands and other gear were left in the shot intentionally to give it a more cinematic feel.
For more information on the LUMIX G9 and the 35-100mm lens click on either thumbnail below.
Check out more of Nick's work. His website is just a click away. Then follow him and the entire US LUMIX Ambassador team. They're regularly speaking at LUMIX retailers and conventions around the country. As I've written so many times before, they're one of the most diverse and creative teams in photography, and should all be on your radar. You'll be surprised at how much great content they share.
And, if you're not in the LUMIX Photographers Group on Facebook, it's time to check it out. There's great content being shared regularly from talented artists all over the world.
Nothing beats the color and fun of outdoor merchandising in Madrid, NM!
Most of you know my passion for photography focuses mostly on the business and marketing sides. I don't make a living as a professional photographer, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate great technology. I'll match my passion for the craft with anybody! Plus, having worked with so many professional photographers over the years, I know more than I let on. The difference is that it would take most of you ten minutes to light a great portrait, and I'd work on it all day!
Last May, Sheila and I headed to New Mexico for a vacation. I've shared a few images here and there in past posts and tweets, but since it's Mirrorless Monday, I decided to share a few more. I took a lot of gear with me, but the LUMIX G9 with the 14-140mm lens wound up being my camera and lens of choice.
From its incredibly sharp and quick focus accuracy to simply being lightweight with a focal range giving me everything I needed, it was a kick to travel with. Every night I'd download the day's images, blown away by the sharpness and the beauty of working with the technology Panasonic's put into this camera.
So, at the risk of sounding like a kid doing a report for school called, "What I Did This Summer," welcome to New Mexico and the G9.
The image on the left is without any post-processing.
The right is using the preset "mild image enhancer" in Luminar.
I shot in every mode from IA to P, A, S, and M. The touch screen adds to the accuracy and fun of this camera. All of the images in this post are mostly right out of the can.
If there is any post-processing, it's in Luminar. Most often I use one of two presets, the clarity booster or mild image enhancer, and that's only because of personal taste. The images rarely needed any work. And remember, every image shared in this post is a screenshot too.
Late in the day shot after a storm and enlarged 100%.
B-Boys dancing in the Santa Fe plaza.
The fun of traveling mirrorless, especially with LUMIX, is carrying a minimal amount of gear and weight. I added a MeFOTO carbon-fiber tripod to my gear, and it was perfect. Easy to travel and hike and with - Plus, with the range on the 14-140mm lens, I always had what I needed.
One of the highlights of the trip was Georgia O'Keeffe's house, which is magnificent. You're surrounded by the beauty of New Mexico combined with the stunning simplicity of her taste. Because she passed away in 1986, you're struck by the contemporary beauty in the design of her home and the area around it.
I loved the simplicity of this interior courtyard.
Every corner of the house gives you a feeling of the love she had for this property.
The picture window from her office was designed to capture the view below. That's only a fraction of the panoramic scene when looking out the window.
The house is only accessible by guided tour, and there's no photography allowed inside her home. So, you shoot "neurochromes" inside and outside your camera's capturing images in every direction.
One of the things that hit us early on was how the preservation team has kept everything as Georgia O'Keeffe left it. From many of her plants and flowers to the spices in the kitchen to rocks she collected outside. The home has been preserved as she left it, and you can't help but feel her love for Abiquiú.
And as a side note - I bought Ansel Adams' '77 Cadillac back in my Hasselblad days, which we sold for charity. Knowing he was good friends with Georgia O'Keeffe, I couldn't help but wonder how many times he'd visited here in that same car that was parked in my garage for a month.
If you haven't checked out the G9, it's time to visit your LUMIX dealer.
Headed to PPE this week? Make it a point to stop by the Panasonic booth. Check out the LUMIX family, and not only the G9 but the incredible new full-frame S1. They're just inside the entrance to the main hall in booth 707, and I can promise you won't be disappointed! Plus, take the time to meet some of the LUMIX Ambassadors who will be at the show. They represent one of the most diverse teams in professional photography!
Click on either thumbnail for more information as well as the S1 Series below.
for a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life.
but there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first,
some unfinished business, time still to be served, a dept to be paid.
at last it dawned on me that these obstacle were my life.
this perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness.
happiness is the way. so treasure every moment you have
and remember that time waits for no one.
happiness is a journey, not a destination.
by Skip Cohen
Many years ago I published a series of posts based on the wisdom shared on refrigerator magnets. The quote above has been on our fridge for years, but I hadn't noticed it in a long time. When I read it this morning it hit me how there's no expiration date on the thought - happiness is a journey not a destination!
No need for me to write anything more about the concept.
There's so much we take for granted these days, especially in the way we share images. The images above are part of a new ad campaign from Panasonic, which is remarkable. I grabbed a screenshot of eight of the forty-six featured photographs. You'll need to click on any image above to connect to the full ad, but here's what I love the most.
Besides sharing the latest in technology and information about the new full-frame LUMIX S1R, when you click on any photograph you link to a short piece about the artist. From there, you can scroll through more of their work, read a little about them, their experiences, and their love for photography.
I clicked on the black and white wedding image above and the banner below appeared. It was captured and created by my good buddy William Innes. I love his comment about the Lumix 24-105 mm lens, "It is the type of lens that can spend a great amount of the wedding day on your camera."
I hope you'll take the time to scroll through the entire LUMIX piece - all the banners in the Panasonic campaign link to www.makeyourbestshot.com. But there's another reason you should look at this page - it represents some of the very best storytelling. The story is obviously about the LUMIX S1R. But as storytellers, photographers need to pay attention to how everybody delivers their message. How are you going to share ideas for your own story?
Isn't time you found out what all the buzz is about with the new S1R? As I've written so many times before, Panasonic's tagline is "Changing Photography." They're keeping that promise with every product in the LUMIX line. And, they're also changing advertising with an interactive approach introducing us not only to the S1R, but some of the most respected artists in the world!
Click on any thumbnail to link to the campaign. Then, kick back and enjoy the journey with some incredible artists and beautiful images. Each one is a testimonial to LUMIX technology.
What a kick!
by Skip Cohen
Today's post is a little different than the previous weeks - only because the Bubble Trailer Light Tour is at the halfway mark. After teaching at AVC Photo School today, Suzette, Jonny, and Ms. BT are taking a few days off. However, there's a remarkable story to share, and it's all about "Hope." It's not a sappy vague concept, but about reality and a story about a real-life miracle.
Suzette Allen and I have known each other for a lot of years. I initially met her the same way many of you have, as one of the industry's most respected Photoshop instructors. In 2013 she became a LUMIX Ambassador, and that's where the friendship started to blossom. A couple of years later, her husband, Jonny, officially became part of the LUMIX team as well. We taught together at Marathon's MAP Getaway a few years back, and the four of us as two couples being together added another dimension of friendship.
Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of Suzette experiencing a horrific accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury. She shared the story on her blog yesterday and I pulled a few paragraphs to share.
Today marks the 30th anniversary of my accident with a bull moose in Alaska. Many people don’t realize that I am a survivor of a brain injury that happened 30 years ago today. I was driving home from a dance class in my car when a legal bull moose was standing in the road and I hit him going probably 55 mph.
When you hit a full size moose with 6 foot antlers with a car, you hit them in the shins and the body comes through the windshield and crushes the entire car. The moose’s body broke out the windshield, cutting up my hands, but the fur hit my face so my face didn’t get any major cuts- it just shattered my entire face with the impact of over 1500 pounds.
...But honestly, as horrible as that sounds, it was all minor in light of the real damage: a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Unfortunately 30 years ago (and in Alaska) not much was known about brain injuries and I was not diagnosed for over two years, while my life spiraled downward in a horrible spin, ending very badly. Not having disability insurance as the wage earner meant we suffered the loss of our two businesses, our home, everything we owned, and sadly, because of my instability and emotional state of a two-year-old (damage to my frontal lobe emotional centers) my husband of 10 years took me home to my parents in California and divorced me. Click to read the entire post on Suzette's blog.
And here's my point - There are so many ways to find inspiration in this industry. So often we're inspired by the skillset and technique of other artists. But, sometimes, there's more inspiration to appreciate when you meet and spend time with them. It's not about what they share, but why!
Over a year ago, Suzette and Jonny had an idea to teach and meet photographers in a unique way. The Internet and online education have changed our lives, but we're so often missing human contact. Meeting somebody face to face, a handshake, a hug, and talking, enriches our lives. The only thing better than capturing moments in a photograph is making memories directly.
Now, halfway through the tour, they're taking time off with friends. We couldn't be more proud to know our house is one of the stops. While there's plenty more time on the road, probably a few meet-ups and a lot of photography along the way, their next major presentation is on October 25 at Arlington Camera in Arlington, TX.
I hope you'll take the time to join them on the back half of the tour. And, take the time to read Suzette's story of hope going back thirty years ago. She's inspirational in her love of the craft, life, and spirituality. And, with Jonny, they've become much more than just LUMIX Ambassadors. They're Ambassadors for hope, inspiration, creativity, and an industry so many of us love dearly.
Suzette also wrote...
So today, I KNOW there is always HOPE and also that persistence is omnipotent. My Why in life is to Inspire and Encourage...The brain is capable of so much more than we realize, if we just believe and persist.
Great programming doesn't happen without strong support. The Bubble Trailer Light Tour is sponsored by some of the finest companies in our imaging. They don't just make great products - they believe in education and helping artists raise the bar on their skillset to thrive, not just survive!
The Bubble Trailer Light Tour needs to be on your radar. Here's the schedule for next two weeks. Occasionally dates and locations are subject to change. The complete itinerary is available with a click on the button below!
Image copyright Don Komarechka. All rights reserved.
It's Mirrorless Monday and the perfect time to share this image by Don Komarechka.
Don's no stranger to SCU. We've featured a number of his images, guest posts and a podcast or two - most recently on "Mind Your Own Business. He's an accomplished artist, educator, author, and over the years has become a great friend. I often refer to him as the Mad Scientist of Macro.
Don loves to take on challenges. He loves finding new ways to shift paradigms. It's like watching some of the best episodes of "Myth Busters." Over and again, he's taken us through new ways to capture and create incredible images.
He shared the image above on his Facebook page last week, with a detailed explanation of how it was created. It was too unique to not share again here at SCU for Mirrorless Monday! Don goes into the full backstory about the capture of the image on his Facebook page. It's well worth the read, but I pulled some fun highlights:
"A few simple ingredients at play here, all held together by a new accessory from Platypod – flexible gooseneck arms attached to their Platypod Max as a “base of operations” that performs exceptionally well for tabletop macro work!
...This image is novel for a number of reasons, beyond the cool gadgets I get to play with to make these setups easier and more robust. Another point of simplicity is that this image is not taken with a macro lens, nor was it focus stacked! This is the magic of the high-resolution mode in the Lumix S1R.
...Imagine shooting a 187MP image, which is possible with the Lumix S1R, and then intentionally throwing 90% of it away by excessively cropping. You’ll still have just under 19MP worth of image data to work with, and I had previously been shooting with 18-20MP cameras for my entire professional career."
LUMIX S1R Kit, Digital Mirrorless Camera
With 47.3MP MOS Full Frame, 24-105mm F4 L-Mount Lens
Don Komarechka needs to be on your radar.
His website is just a click away. While you're there, check out the pre-order special on his new book, Macro Photography: The Universe at Our Feet. Just click on the thumbnail to the right for more info.
Don never compromises on the quality of anything he does. So, if you're looking to expand your skill set into macro check out his podcasts, galleries and workshops too.
by Skip Cohen
Every time I write about this tour, I hear Willie Nelson singing "On the Road Again" in the background. It's day twenty-eight for the Bubble Trailer Light Tour. I've lost count how many photographers Suzette and Jonny have met over the last four weeks. If my calculations are right, they're also coming up on six-thousand miles and just about the halfway mark.
One of the most fun aspects of the tour has been the images Suzette's been posting and sharing all along the way. They're not only teaching workshops but using a lot of great gear at various stops on the journey. Her shot of the NYC skyline above is spectacular. It was captured with a LUMIX S1R and 24-105 mm lens - f16 @ 15 seconds, ISO 400. Make sure you click on the image to see it enlarged in the lightbox.
Nanlites are on the trip with Suzette and Jonny. If you don't know about the product line, they're just a click away. It's time to find out what all the buzz is about.
Suzette described the shoot, which was in the salt flats earlier on their trip:
"...We used the Forza 300 for the main light and then the Forza 60's for accent lights and for shooting later when we needed less power...and we can shoot with them on location where there is no power! Even the Forza 300 and 500 can be powered with a V Mount Battery,
One of the biggest advantages I see with the Nanlites is how they have one point of light instead of a panel of pin-lights. Often, the panel lights show as a freckled light in catchlights and even have a different light falloff than a strobe in a softbox. With the Nanlites, we can use the softboxes and get a perfect portrait quality of light, and that professional edge we have worked years to perfect. It's our leverage as a visible means of setting ourselves apart from the competition!"
The image below shows the set up for the shoot. What a kick using great gear that goes virtually anywhere!
Everywhere Suzette, Jonny and Ms. BT go they're meeting more photographers. Here are a couple of the stops they made this past week.
It takes great support from the industry to put together a tour like this. Obviously it starts with Suzette and Jonny's love for photography, people, and wanting to drive across the country and back! We all live in an Internet world - what a kick to spend time face to face with so many artists.
But, part of that love for imaging and people is fueled by some of the best companies in professional photography:
Where are they now?
The Bubble Trailer Light Tour needs to be on your radar. Here's the schedule for next week, occasionally dates and locations are subject to change. The complete itinerary is available with a click on the button below!
Click on any image above to listen to the podcast.
This year we're celebrating five years of incredible guests on the "Mind Your Own Business" podcast. It started in the spring of 2014 when Rich Harrington at Photofocus had an idea. We launched the first program in April of that year. A year or so later Scott Bourne joined me as co-host, and when Scott moved on to other projects, Chamira Young and I kicked off the expanded series in March of 2017.
To date we've done 70+ podcasts together, including "Beyond Technique," "Tamron Recipes," and at least two on Pro Photographer Journey. Through all of these guests, we've only had two previous episodes with sports photographers.
Terrell Lloyd joined us on this new episode. Terrell's the Senior Manager of Photography Services and Lead Team Photographer at the San Francisco 49ers. We not only talked about the challenges of being a sports photographer but many of the milestones of his journey. Terrell's all about relationship-building and he shares a lot of good insight in his story from starting out as a pro-bowler to today.
As I've written so many times over the years, the best thing in our industry isn't really about photography but the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. Terrell and I go back to my early WPPI days and maybe further. When the 49ers played Tampa Bay a few weeks ago, we were able to get to the game and watch him in action.
Knowing how many stadiums and events have restrictions on DSLRs and often interchangeable lenses, I took the LUMIX FZ300. It was close to 100°, and we were ten rows down from the top of the stadium. I dropped an arrow into the shot on the right pointing to where Terrell was in the image below.
I needed a camera that could handle the challenge without the weight. With its 25-600mm fixed zoom most of the time it's perfect for what I need. There's a lot of horsepower packed into this camera, and at 1.5 pounds, even with a smaller sensor, it's great to travel with.
A big thanks to Terrell for joining us on "Mind Your Own Business," and for working in the time for dinner the night before the game. While social media is fun for staying connected - NOTHING beats quality time face to face!
ClickCon 2020 Circle the Dates!!
It's rare that a first year conference has the power that ClickCon brought to the industry this past August.
The dates have been announced for 2020 at the Palmer House in Chicago. August 11-14!
What a kick!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.